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Exterior Door Guide for Homeowners

North Georgia Replacement Windows’ Complete Guide to Entry & Patio Doors

When it comes to the exterior of your home, your doors are more than just a way to enter and exit. Your front door is the first thing a visitor sees when they approach your home. When they are installed by a reliable door contractor, they create a beautiful first impression. Your patio doors extend your home's living space by joining your interior to your outdoors. Attractive, functional patio doors can bring the outdoors in and fill your home with natural light. But when any of your home's exterior doors begin to deteriorate, they become unattractive and inefficient.

Water or insect damage, broken hinges, and sticking door jams are all signs that your doors may need to be replaced. Replacing old, inefficient doors with stunning functional exterior doors not only improves your curb appeal - it adds value to your home! Read on to learn more about when it's time to replace your doors and how to decide which type is for you!

Guide Chapters

Is it Time to Replace My Home’s Doors?

So how do you know when it's time to replace your home's exterior doors? Some of the signs are obvious and immediately recognizable, but others aren't as noticeable. In fact, your door may be even more damaged than you think. Here are some signs that it's time for new doors:

  • It won't open, close, or lock securely - If your doors don't close correctly, you are compromising your family's security and making your home more vulnerable to break-ins. If it doesn't open easily, you are putting your family at risk if an emergency necessitates a speedy exit.
  • The frame or door is damaged or broken - A rotting or broken door frame or door signals it's time for a replacement. An ill-fitting door and damaged frame can increase your energy bills, make your home drafty in the winter, and let cool air escape in the summer.
  • It's difficult to open or close your door - If you're having a tough time opening or closing your door, it may mean that water damage has caused it to expand past the point of repair. The same is true when it comes to sliding glass patio doors.
  • Condensation between glass panes - Visible moisture between the glass panes on your patio's sliding door can indicate leaks, poor installation, or even a failed seal.
  • Broken or damaged glass - Cracked glass on your patio's sliding door is dangerous for children and animals.
  • Noise problems - If your door is not insulating you against outside noise, it may be a sign that it's failing.
  • Outdated style - An old, unattractive door can seriously detract from your home's curb appeal. On the flip side, a gorgeous new door can transform your home from dull and outdated to gorgeous and modern.

It's always best to consult an experienced contractor, as there may be more damage, such as hidden wood rot, than you can readily see with a cursory inspection.

What Types of Exterior Doors Are Available For My Home?

Black Sliding Patio Doors Installed by North Georgia Replacement Windows

There are many changes you can make to your home's exterior to enhance its appearance and improve it, such as installing new windows or adding lush landscaping. One of the easiest ways to make a major impact is by installing a new door. Adding a new patio door, front door, or multi-slide door has many benefits including adding value to your home! Here are some other benefits to keep in mind:

Patio door

A new patio door can create a more attractive, seamless transition between your home's interior and outdoor space. A new patio door can also:

  • Offer customizable options
  • Add more natural light
  • Reduce your energy bills
  • Enhance your home's style

Front or entry door

Front doors are available in a variety of materials, including fiberglass, steel, and iron. Fiberglass creates the classic appearance of wood with less upkeep, while wrought iron doors provide exceptional strength and numerous customizable options. A new front or entry door can transform your home's look and create a gorgeous first impression for visitors. It can also:

  • Boost curb appeal
  • Reduce energy bills
  • Keep your family more safe and secure
  • Reduce exterior noise
  • Improve durability

Multi-slide doors

This dramatic architectural feature truly invites the outdoors in. It also:

  • Makes small rooms seem larger
  • Reduces energy bills
  • Adds more natural light
  • Provides a gorgeous, modern design aesthetic

Do Entry Doors Impact My Home’s Energy Efficiency?

Creating a more energy-efficient home has benefits for you as a homeowner and for the environment. It conserves and reduces energy use, which helps you save money. An energy-efficient home also creates a more comfortable interior that stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer and can even increase your property value.

Windows and doors can have a major impact on your home's energy efficiency. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is an independent organization that seeks to improve windows, doors, and skylights to make residential and commercial buildings more comfortable and energy efficient.

NFRC-certified products have been independently tested, certified, and labeled so you can choose the best product for your needs. While an ENERGY STAR label tells you if a product is energy efficient, the NFRC evaluates products' energy performance in multiple categories. When it comes to doors, you should look at the NFRC U-factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.

  • U-factor - The U-factor measures how well a product keeps heat from escaping from the interior of a home or building. The lower the number, the more efficient a product is at keeping the heat in. Select products with an NFRC label range from .20 to 1.20.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient - This rating measures how well a window or door resists unwanted heat gain. This is especially important during the hot summers here in North Georgia when you want your air conditioning to cool your home as efficiently as possible. The lower the number, the less expensive your AC bill will be. An NFRC range from 0 - 1 is ideal.

When it comes to saving energy in your home, there are some very simple measures you can take! Here are some easy energy-saving tips:

  • Wash your clothes in cooler water
  • Put lids on your pots when cooking on the stove to improve efficiency
  • Use your slow cooker or pressure cooker more often
  • Install motion sensors inside and outside your home so that lights automatically turn off when an area is not being used
  • Take shorter showers
  • Take a break from screens one night a week
  • Replace a drafty old front, patio, or sliding glass door with a newer, more energy-efficient model

Can I Customize My New Doors?

Custom entry door installed by North Georgia Replacement Windows

Today's patio and front doors offer numerous customization options to help you realize your vision, reflect your personal style, and elevate your home's design. Custom doors are also an excellent choice if you have a non-standard size door opening, an older home with original doors, or a trim that you want to preserve or match.

Here are some of the many customization possibilities for your new front or patio door:

  • Paint, glaze , or stain - Painted, glazed, and stained doors each have distinctive looks. Some brands offer doors that are pre-stained or painted in the factory and include extended warranties. Or an experienced contractor can paint or stain your door for you in the desired color or finish.
  • Panels - Door panels, including glass panels, sidelites, and transoms, create a sophisticated look and bring more natural light into your home.
  • Glass - A decorative glass door can elevate your entryway. In addition, each type of glass has some distinct advantages.
    • Beveled glass is cut to achieve a certain effect, such as prisms that refract light creating charming sparkly patterns.
    • Stained glass adds a vivid pop of color to brighten and add visual interest to your home's exterior. This style is best suited for Victorian or traditional homes.
    • Privacy glass allows you to bring more natural light into your home while maintaining your family's privacy and ensuring everyone feels safe and secure.
  • Internal blinds - Exterior doors with internal blinds are convenient, as they allow you to change the configuration by lifting or tilting to suit the amount of light you want to allow in or how much privacy you want. Custom cut to fit your door and made of sturdy aluminum, internal blinds are also exceptionally easy to clean!

Why Choose North Georgia Replacement Windows?

While it may be tempting to DIY a patio or front door installation, there are many reasons why this is not advisable. Most importantly, if you install a door incorrectly, it could void the warranty and cause it to perform poorly. In addition, a skilled contractor can evaluate your current door and identify any problems that are not as obvious to you. Here are other things that can go wrong when you DIY a new door installation:

  • Pest intrusion
  • Damage to the new door
  • Moisture penetration
  • Crooked alignment
  • Underlying problems

At North Georgia Replacement Windows, we know there are a variety of local contractors who install new front and patio doors, but our team has many differences that set us apart. We are committed to exceptional customer service and offer a carefully curated selection of premium products to our clients. We stand by these products and craftsmanship. If something doesn't go to plan, we will make it right. And you don't have to take our word for it! We have an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating and the highest GuildQuality customer satisfaction survey rating in the nation. North Georgia Replacement Windows also maintains the highest level of certification both with the state and manufacturers.

Want to learn more about exterior door replacements? Check out our door services. If you're ready to get started, we'd be happy to create a no-pressure proposal for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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